The Societal Impacts Program (SIP) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is pleased to host the Weather and Society Webinar series once per quarter, typically held on the first Tuesday of each designated month. The webinar is intended to allow presenters to highlight their research and related societal impacts work and provide a forum for participants to ask questions and share ideas. To view the upcoming seminar calendar, please click here. To view past webinar presentations, please click here.
March 6, 2012 - Toni Rosati - "Public Perceptions of Tsunamis and Tsunami Warning Signs in Los Angeles"
Please join us for the next Societal Impacts Program Summer Weather and Society Webinar on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Toni Rosati, a climate research assistant at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, will gave a talk entitled, “Public Perceptions of Tsunamis and Tsunami Warning Signs in Los Angeles." Please check back soon for information on how to join the webinar.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issues a wide array of text and graphical products to communicate the forecasted conditions associated with storm surge (defined an abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a tropical or extratropical cyclone). The serious threat to life and property posed by storm surge suggests that this threat be specifically communicated to members of the public so that they can make better proactive and protective decisions. We report on a recent survey exploring and assessing the public’s awareness and understanding, or lack thereof, concerning storm surge and currently available storm surge information. We report on a GIS-based analysis of respondents’ actual and perceived risk of inundation and their stated intended behavioral responses to hurricane risks. The survey also included a stated preference exercise eliciting respondent’s willingness-to-pay for improved hurricane forecast information. We report on the results of this exercise as a parallel approach to assessing preferences for improved risk communication information. This work is designed in part to assess whether the National Weather Service (NWS) should consider developing new storm surge informational approaches to improve the communication and decision-making with respect to storm surge risk. We discuss ongoing and future efforts to support NWS efforts. Co-PIs are Betty Hearn Morrow (SocResearch Miami), Jamie R. Rhome (National Hurricane Center - NOAA), and Jesse C. Feyen (National Ocean Service – NOAA)
Renee Lertzman, Ph.D., a psychosocial researcher who teaches Psychology and Climate Change at Portland State University and is a Visiting Fellow with the Portland Center for Public Humanities, discussed how recent events have vividly demonstrated how interplays of weather, climate and human communities can profoundly impact our ways of life. The webinar explored emotional dimensions of climatic change and its influences on weather - and how weather is perceived. Renee discussed how this applies to communications and messaging.
Jennifer Spinney presented her research for her master of arts degree in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. This research focused on understanding perceptions of vulnerability to 'severe' weather in the Canadian arctic community of Pangnirtung, Nunavut. The research emphasized the importance of understanding how different social groups conceive of their own susceptibility to 'severe' weather events and challenges future research to reconsider the indices by which vulnerability to 'severe' weather is measured.
Andy Bailey provided a basic overview of the IWT concept from its beginning and discussion of how the approach relates back to the Weather and Society * Integrated Studies (WAS*IS) initiative, including similarities and differences between the two initiatives. This introductory discussion also outlined positive results that have grown out of the IWT initiative thus far. (e.g. developing uniform color palates, movement toward a uniform siren policy in some communities, partnerships with social scientists at local universities). Dan Nietfeld presented information on general reinforcement of the importance of the IWT concept, and how it led to the Omaha IWT workshop that he spearheaded and discussed during the January 2010 webinar. Chad Omitt presented an overview of the Kansas IWT, and Mike Hudson discussed plans for other IWT's in the National Weather Service central region, or even other regions.
SIP, SSWIM, NWS and WAS*IS updates were provided. Dan Nietfeld gave a presentation on the Kansas City and Omaha Integrated Warning Team (IWT) workshops, and Emily Laidlaw discussed her work regarding perceptions of outdoor warning sirens.